Pancake Tuesday 2014

Happy Pancake Tuesday! Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday, is today and if you’re on some “healthy diet” regime…you’ll have to give yourself a special dispensation so you can partake in this festive tradition that we love so much in Ireland.

If you’re not familiar with the tradition of Pancake Tuesday, it falls the day before Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of the Lenten season for Christians. {Don’t forget to get your Ashes tomorrow!} You can learn all about the tradition of Pancake Tuesday and find my tried-and-tested go-to recipe for traditional Irish pancakes here.

This year, in our Irish home, I am shaking things up. I’m not sure how my kids will feel about this, but I am making Korean-style pancakes in honour of the Winter Olympics in South Korea. I’d love to show you a Korean pancake I made earlier…but since we haven’t had dinner yet…I’ve got nothing of my own to show you just now*. But, what follows are some Korean pancake recipes that I’ve saved over the past few weeks to make tonight. I hope one of these appeals to you and yours!

~ XoK

Hotteok, Hoddeok or Hodduk, 호떡

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These gorgeous Korean pancakes are stuffed with delicious brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts…which just sounds so fabulous right now! According to Sue over at My Korean Kitchen, they are one of the “most popular Korean street snacks and are popular in winter”. What I particularly like about this recipe is the ingredient list is pretty much the same as we use for our traditional Irish crepe-style pancakes.

Pa Jun

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Ok, so he’s not Korean and he lives in Paris, but recipes from David Lebovitz are always good…so for me this recipe for scallion, red pepper, egg on top, Korean-style pancakes made the cut. Again, I love that David’s recipe because it uses simple ingredients…and I can imagine throwing in a few prawns or other ingredient to make them even more interesting.

Scallion & Shrimp 

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Does’t this pancake look good? Nami, a Japanese home cook, based in San Francisco, offers this delicious recipe on her blog Just One Cookbook. You might say, “but she’s Japanese…not Korean!”…and you’re right. But, you know, my sweet grandmother was Chinese and she had a bunch of friends from so many Asian countries and she and her girlfriends would share and cook up each other’s recipes with such regularity that I am going to believe Nami lives the same way…it works for me!

Flourless Korean Pancakes…aka Potato Korean Pancakes

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I won’t be making these tonight…but I thought for any of you who are not eating flour…but are eating potatoes…this recipe might work. From the very adorable Seonkyoung Longest, this blog posted recipe for Potato Pancakes also offers an easy to follow video.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Busy mom note here: I meant to publish this post earlier in the day for my fellow Irish readers!

** For more delicious Pancake Tuesday recipe ideas please visit my previous post here.





Saoirse Ronan and Martin McDonagh at 2018 Golden Globes

Photo Credits: HFPA

It was a cracking night for the Irish at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Beverly Hill, CA last night as Saoirse Ronan and Martin McDonagh took home top honours.

Ronan won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category for the film Lady Bird, in which she plays a headstrong high school senior experiencing a turbulent relationship with her mother. It has been praised in many circles for capturing the poignancy and craziness of late adolescence {something this Irish mother of two teens can relate too!}. The film Lady Bird also won the award for the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

McDonagh won not one, but two awards, last night: Best Motion Picture – Drama category and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture category for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. For McDonagh, there was additional success as actress Frances McDormand won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture award and actor Sam Rockwell won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for Three Billboards as well.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is both a wickedly dark comedy and searing drama that takes audiences on the journey of a vigilante single mom forcing the police department in her fictional town of Ebbing, Missouri, to investigate her daughter’s unsolved murder by buying ad space on three billboards. {please note, there is profanity in this trailer}



For Ronan, this year’s ceremony was not her first appearance at the Golden Globes as a nominee. In 2008, at the tender age of 13, she was nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in an Motion Picture category for the film Atonement. And she was also nominated in 2016 for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama category for Brooklyn.


As the mother of two, it was refreshing to see both Saoirse Ronan and Martin McDonagh mention their mothers in their acceptance speeches. Ronan said this: “My mam’s on FaceTime over there on someone’s phone right now so hi!…I want to thank all of the women who I love so much in my own life, who support me every single day…my mother, who’s on FaceTime…!”

Not to be outdone in the humour department, McDonagh said: It’s my mum’s birthday tomorrow; she likes this kind of thing…So happy birthday, mum – even though I think she wanted Lady Bird to win!”

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* To read all full list of all the winners and nominees at the 2018 Golden Globe awards, visit here.

** Read more about Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn at the Sundance Film Festival 2015 here.

*** Visit the Lady Bird website by clicking here, and the Facebook page by clicking here.

**** Visit the Three Billboards website by clicking here and the Facebook page by clicking here.






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If your New Year’s resolution is to “get healthy” or “lose weight” in 2018…read no further. Seriously, if you do, you’re either going to hate me or love me for posting this Salted Caramel Popcorn recipe.

In our Irish home we call it…”crack-popcorn”. I kid you not: it…is…that…good. Full credit for this Master Recipe goes to Shelly Jaronsky over at CookiesandCups.com. She first posted it on 4 September 2013 and then it went into her 2016 cookbook, The Cookies & Cups Cookbook. I, thankfully, stumbled across the recipe on Pinterest a few years ago, was intrigued, and then got hooked. Thank you and damn you, Shelly! ♥


Yesterday, I whipped up a double batch for neighbours and friends whom I didn’t visit before Christmas day. The jars came from TK Maxx {it’s the same as TJ Maxx} and were a steal at only €5 each.


Unlike other salted caramel popcorn recipes out there, this one is a doddle to make. As per Shelly’s directions, you pop some popcorn, boil up a quick batch of caramel using only three ingredients, mix it all together, and pop it into the oven for 30 minutes. Bada bing, bada boom and you’re done. You’re gonna love it!

~ XoK

Salted Caramel Popcorn

Makes 16 cups


4.5oz/126g/½ cup unpopped popcorn

8oz/228g/1 cup butter

7.5oz/212g/1 cup brown sugar

3oz/1/3 cup golden syrup or corn syrup

1/2-2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided*


1. Preheat oven to 150ºC/300°F.

2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.

3. Pop popcorn kernels using air popper into a large bowl.

4. In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and 1 teaspoon salt* together over medium heat. Bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring.

5. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir to coat evenly.

6. Pour popcorn into lined pan, sprinkle remaining salt on top (1/2 tsp – 1 tsp depending on your personal taste preference*) and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

7. Allow popcorn to cool on a parchment lined counter.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Because I use salted butter, I opt out of adding salt to this recipe.

** To get rid of those pesky unpopped kernels, before making the caramel, pour the popcorn into a large bowl and toss it thoroughly with your hands a few times…this way the unpopped kernels will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Then, remove the popped popcorn to another bowl and, voila, the unpeopled kernels are visible for easy removal.

*** If kept in a well sealed container, this popcorn will last for weeks.

**** I adore Master Recipes…you know…the ones that are rare and wonderful, that you wouldn’t dream of changing a single thing about them, and you make them over and over again. Here are a few of my favourite Irish master recipes: Chocolate Whiskey Cake, Irish Mashed Potatoes, and The Art of Making & Serving Tea.





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There’s something exciting and wonderful about January and the start of a new year. It’s a blank slate…don’t you think?…the chance to create something wonderful in our life and the world at large. It’s an opportunity to renew relationships and commitments or scrap the ones that didn’t work for us in the past.

Resolution, intention, purpose, goal, conscious thought…whatever you/we call our outlook for the coming twelve months…I am glad we are here today and have the chance to think about the next 363 tomorrows in 2018.

My intention this year is LOVE. 

I thought about other words and phrases: do better, be more, simplify, focus, get healthy, gratitude, travel, family, thankful, be positive, trust, faith, find joy, be present…but they didn’t resonate as much as LOVE did.

So this year…I’m going to practice Love of Self, Love of Others, Love of Work, Love of Learning, Love of Travel, Love of Being Strong, Love of Cooking, Love of Parenting, the Love of Letting Go…and more. Love, love, love…isn’t it just grand?

What is your intention, purpose, goal, conscious thought, resolution or “word” for 2018?

~ XoK



Hello my lovely friends, fellow bloggers, and visitors! It’s almost New Year’s Eve and our home is a buzz with preparations for a celebration…teen style! Our two daughters are hosting different groups of friends this year…their first time ever…which should be interesting. Wish us luck!!

In return, I wish for you a New Year’s Eve celebration that fills your night with everything you need: romance, love, friendship, quiet time, family time…whatever!! And for the year ahead, may you enjoy good health, much happiness, peace, and abundance.

God bless you. And, thank you so much for your friendship and support this past year. XoKim

Happy New Year 2018!


Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Please stay connected with me in the coming year through: Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!


Slice of ham and cheese frittata on a white plate

We love leftovers the first night after Christmas. By the second night, however, we are ready for something different. But, what about all that wonderful leftover turkey and ham that’s sitting in the fridge…right?

“Waste not want not” is a philosophy my mother-in-law Mary Rose taught me well, which is why the second night after Christmas, I usually make a ham and cheese frittata. {For your leftover turkey…why not try this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie?}

This recipe is incredibly quick to make and is, of course, delicious. It’s perfect for a morning meal, Saint Stephen’s Day perhaps, and also makes an ideal brunch main course. At a different time of year, say a beautiful summer’s day, this could easily be packed into a picnic basket too. Enjoy!

Ham & Cheese Frittata

Serves 6


2 tablespoons olive oil

½ onion, sliced

8 eggs

2oz/¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

12oz/168g/2 cups ham, diced

3oz/88g/1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1.) Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

2.) Heat olive oil in a 10” oven proof skillet over moderately high heat. With a pastry brush, spread the olive oil to the sides of the skillet.

3.)Add the onion and sauté until translucent.

4.) While the onions are sautéing, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

5.) Once the onions are translucent, remove from the heat and spread the diced ham evenly over them.

6.) Pour the egg mixture into the skillet.

7.) Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

8.) Place the skillet into the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the eggs are fully cooked and the cheese is bubbling. Serve immediately.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credits:

* Want to know the difference between a frittata and an omelet? Check out this article from the good folks over at thekitchn.com.

** Here are a few Irish frittata recipes from the world of WordPress bloggers: Irish Breakfast Frittata from The Way I Make It Is; Feta Cheese and Red Onion Frittata from the Irish cookery school known as Cook’s Academy; Bacon Spinach and Potato Frittata from Irish writer Shiela Kiely at Gimme the Recipe; and, finally, a Courgette and Thyme Frittata from Irish food writer Catherine Fulvio.

*** Not into frittatas? Can I tempt you with this amazing Tomato & Almond Tart a la Ottolenghi?




Traditional Irish Plum Pudding on a white plate


I know it’s late…but it’s not too late…to make your plum pudding for Christmas. This traditional Irish dessert is rich in spices and gloriously packed with delicious fruit.

A few weeks back I made homemade Mixed Candied Peel for this very recipe and it is incredibly more-ish…if you have the time and the inclination, I highly suggest you make you’re own too as it really is magic.

Of course, as one would expect, there are some superstitions {or call them traditions, if you will} that go hand in hand with making Irish plum pudding. They include:

* You make your Christmas plum pudding the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent, also known in the north of Ireland and the U.K. as Stir-up Sunday.

* It must be made with 13 ingredients to represent Christ and His disciples.

* Every member of the family should take a turn stirring the pudding with a wooden spoon from east to west in honor of the three kings.

* If you make a wish as you stir your pudding, it will come true by Christmas morning.

* When serving, present the pudding with a sprig of holly on top as a reminder of Christ’s crown of thorns…or…add the holly for good luck…you decide the meaning.

* And set your pudding alight with a wee bit of brandy, to represent Christ’s passion.

Personally, I make plum pudding at Christmas for one reason…it’s my husband’s favourite dessert for the holiday and I want to make him happy. Though this might sound old fashioned and sappy, I don’t mind. Christmas is a time for giving and this is one of my gifts to my husband.

If you’ve never made plum pudding, fear not! This recipe is easy to make. The hardest part is being home for six hours while it steams. The recipe I use has been handed down from my mother-in-law, to my sister-in-law, to me…and now to you. It originally came from one of those little Stork Margarine leaflets written by Paula Daly back in the late 1970s. One last tip, however, if you’re making a pudding to give as a gift, a pot of brandy butter makes it all the nicer. Enjoy!

Irish Plum Pudding

Makes 2 Puddings

8oz/225g Stork margarine {or whatever margarine you can buy}, melted
8oz/225g dark brown sugar
7oz/200g plain flour {or self raising}, sieved
12oz/350g currants
8oz/225g raisins
6oz/175g sultanas
2oz/50g mixed cut peel
1oz/25g chopped almonds
1oz/25g glace cherries
6oz/175g fresh breadcrumbs
grated rind of 1 lemon
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1 rounded teaspoon nutmeg
1 rounded teaspoon mixed spice {or pumpkin spice}
2 large eggs
3-4 tablespoons beer/milk
2 tablespoons of whiskey or rum

1. Mix all of the other ingredients together in a large bowl {don’t forget to melt the margarine first}.

2. Cover with a round of greaseproof paper that has been greased with margarine and leave overnight. {The greased side goes against the mixture in the bowl.}

3. The next day, grease a 2.5-3 litre pudding bowl with margarine.

4. Stir the pudding mixture again, very well, and pour into the prepared pudding bowl. Fill to about 1-inch of the top of the bowl. Smooth out the top.

5. Cover with greaseproof paper, which has been pleated in the centre and greased with margarine, and tie it down tightly under the rim with cotton twine.

6. Cover a second time, with a piece of aluminium, and tie it tightly under the rim with cotton twine. Make a twine handle so you can remove the bowl easily after the pudding has been steamed.

7. Place the bowl in a saucepan* and add enough water such that it comes halfway up the side of the bowl. Cover the saucepan with a lid and steam for 6 hours. Be sure to check every hour and top up with boiled water, if necessary.

8. After 6 hours, turn the heat off. Remove the pudding from the saucepan and allow to cool.

9. Re-cover with fresh greaseproof paper, be sure to put another pleat through the middle of the paper, and tie with more cotton twine as before. Store in a cool, dry, place until Christmas Day.

10. On Christmas Day, steam the pudding again for another 2 hours.

11. After two hours, turn the plum pudding out onto a warm plate, pour over some Irish whiskey or brandy and, very carefully, ignite with a match. Serve with brandy butter or cream.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credits:

* The way I steam a plum pudding is I use a saucepan that has a steam basket insert. I place the insert into the saucepan, put the covered bowl into the steam basket, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Then, when I have to check the water in the saucepan, I only have to lift the steam basket up to take a look.

** If you’re looking for an Irish music playlist for Christmas, checkout this one over at Spotify.

*** The meaning of holly and ivy at Christmas in an Irish home is explained well in this article from The Irish News.



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